Each year thousands of individuals are badly hurt and sometimes killed in traffic incidents involving the large and massive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) found on nearly every road in the nation. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, is dedicated to helping the innocent victims of such terrible roadway collisions between passenger cars and tractor-trailers, box-type delivery trucks, big rig tanker trailers and commercial motor coaches. Whatever the type of truck, the sheer size and mass of any CMV can make for serious bodily injuries if it collides with a much smaller passenger sedan, minivan or SUV.
Such is the concern for highway safety, in particular most of the road-going public, that state and federal safety regulations have been enacted to encourage the commercial trucking industry to maintain its vehicles in proper condition and to ensure that drivers are held accountable if they do not follow vehicle maintenance procedures and safe driving rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces the many and varied commercial trucking rules and regulations, including the licensing of professional truckers.
While based on the same general automotive design principles, large commercial motor vehicles remain in a class by themselves. As such, they handle much differently than a standard passenger vehicle because of their increased size and weight. Turning, stopping and backing up are just a few of the driving modes that every commercial truck driver must master if he or she is to be safe on the road. Because drivers of commercial vehicles are in control of these potentially deadly machines, which can wreak havoc on a scale no single automobile or sport utility vehicle ever could, these individuals are held to specific standards defined by law.
As automobile and trucking accident lawyers, the skilled legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen understands how a simple mistake on the part of a commercial truck driver can send an 18-wheeled tractor-trailer careening out of control and placing many innocent people in harm’s way. Maryland’s trucking-related laws, as well as federal regulations, were created to help prevent serious and sometimes fatal beltway and interstate collisions. Yet even at low speeds, a CMV that is driven carelessly without regard to those nearby can present an equally dangerous situation given the right circumstances.
In particular, when a very long commercial tractor-trailer executes a turn in the city or on a rural highway, the chances of an accident go up if the driver does not take into account the other traffic around his rig. The extra-wide turning radius required by large 18-wheelers and other long CMVs can subject some passenger car drivers to what is known in the industry as a “squeeze play.” Though the term pulls from none other than the game of baseball, there is nothing playful about the situation when a commercial truck is involved.
As auto injury accident attorneys, we know that a squeeze play-type truck accident can literally crush a much smaller car, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian. This occurs because these large commercial trucks must swing out of their lane (to the left in the case of right-hand turns) in order to avoid clipping or rolling over any obstacles when making a right-angle turn. Because (in the case of a right-hand turn) the trucker may appear to be turning left, another vehicle may attempt to pass on briefly opened right-hand lane, but this is a deadly assumption.
If a smaller vehicle becomes trapped between the curb (on his right) and the 18-wheeler (on his left), extreme damage to that car or motorcycle can occur. Needless to say, the occupants of cars can sometimes be hurt or killed in a squeeze play collision. And, it goes without saying, that a motorcycle rider or bicyclist could easily be killed as a result of such encounters. While the truck driver cannot control what other drivers do, he must be aware of the traffic conditions and hopefully anticipate such a scenario.
Sadly, these kinds of car-truck wrecks are all too common here in Maryland. When they do occur, there is not much that can stop a tractor-trailer weighing 10 to 15 times more than the typical passenger car. As professional injury lawyers, we are well aware that smaller cars, much less motorcycles, scooters and bicycles, have little chance when going up against a large commercial vehicle. The results of such accidents can include bodily injuries like head wounds, spinal cord damage, simple and compound bone fractures, and other devastating or permanent injuries such as full or partial paralysis and brain damage.
If you or someone you care about has been seriously hurt in a trucking-related traffic collision, the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are available to help. Our knowledgeable staff can explain your legal rights and determine whether you have a case against the negligent party(s). Automobile insurance may not cover all of your costs, because these corporations often attempt to reduce their financial responsibility. There is a good chance that a victim’s medical bills could exceed his or her insurance reimbursements.
Our lawyers will assist you in recovering the necessary compensation due you under the law. If a truck driver did not perform his job correctly, which led to someone’s injury or death, we will investigate the facts and prepare a claim against the responsible parties. With years of experience in personal injury law, our professional legal staff understands how insurance companies use legal maneuvers to avoid paying victims and their families more than they believe is necessary.
We recommend that anyone who has been severely injured in a commercial trucking accident make an appointment to consult with a qualified legal professional regarding their rights to compensation under Maryland law. We offer a free, no-obligation legal consult for those who have suffered physical harm because of another person’s careless or negligent actions. Please call us at (800) 654-1949, or contact us electronically by emailing either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to set up a meeting to review your trucking injury case.